Luke Winn: At The Dance
  • 11:29 AM ET  03.27
Nic Wise
Can Nic Wise and the Wildcats hold up against Louisville's end-to-end pressure?
Bill Frakes/SI

For insight into Friday's regional semifinal games, we tracked down actual scouting-report info from assistant coaches of former opponents, and gave them anonymity in exchange for their candor. You're sick of what the media has to say about these teams by now, so listen to our corps of coaches instead:

Click here for the South Region

MIDWEST REGION (Indianapolis)

No. 1 Louisville vs. No. 12 Arizona, 7:07 p.m. ET

Cardinals scouting points:

• "We showed our guys tape of really good teams who Louisville just dismantled with their pressure defense, but it's not something you can simulate in practice. When you go against it you realize that it's more intense than anything you can show your guys. Even when Louisville plays zone, the pressure is so intense and so far spread out, to 30 feet, that it makes you run your offense well away from the basket."

• "Jerry Smith and Andre McGee are the two guys who really get after you. They'll pick up your guards endline-to-endline and make it a living hell for them. After they score they pressure with a 2-2-1 and drop back to 2-3, and after free throws and dead balls they'll usually go man-to-man press and drop back into man-to-man."

• "T-Will [Terrence Williams] will give you nightmares when you prepare for him, because he does so many things well. He's really good at grabbing defensive rebounds and pushing the break without giving it up to a point guard. The best thing you can do is keep the ball out of his hands, because if he has it, he's going to make plays. He shoots the three when he has time and space, so you want to close out on him, but he's also extremely aggressive going to the basket."

• "Earl Clark is a matchup nightmare, because, if you've seen him in person, he's not just 6-9, he's a long 6-9 who can shoot the three and put it on the floor to the left and right. There are no holes in his game. They use him in the high post a lot, and from there he'll pop out and make it a four-out one-in offense. He's capable of making great high-low passes to Samardo Samuels."

• "Edgar Sosa is an offensive-minded point guard off the bench who's going to shoot almost all of his shots from three. You want to make him a driver, because once he puts it on the floor he'll have some problems trying to overpass it, or trying to make a great pass. He's extremely good using ball screens, and he knows how to split them or step back and hit the three."

Wildcats scouting points:

• "Jordan Hill is a very tough inside player. He can catch and face up from 15 feet, or face up and put the ball on the floor. He's very right-handed, and likes to go over his left shoulder 90 percent of the time. You don't want to let him catch the ball on the left block, because he'll just turn to the middle with that move and kill you."

• "Chase Budinger can score in every way possible, and he raises so high up on his shot that it's tough to block. He can disappear at times, though, and to try to make that happen, be physical with him early in the game. Bump him around a little bit, and see if you can take him out of his rhythm."

• "Arizona is not a great defensive team. They'll give you open shots -- and you can pretty much get an open shot every time if your guys keep moving the ball and attacking seams in the zone."

• "Nic Wise is very quick with the ball in the open floor, and very good at getting to the rim. One of the keys to stopping them is stopping Wise in transition. In the games he gets to the foul line a lot because he's attacking, they're really tough to beat."'s pick: Louisville 77, Arizona 68.
The Cards have the advantage of a semi-home-court setting (Indy is drivable from Louisville) and also have a far superior defense. The 'Cats haven't seen end-to-end pressure like this in the Pac-10.

No. 2 Michigan State vs. No. 3 Kansas, 9:37 p.m. ET

Spartans scouting points:

• "You have to make them play five on five, which means containing Kalin Lucas in transition. He's so quick with the ball and makes good decisions. He's been able to really hurt some teams in the Big Ten that way. Containing him in the half court means dealing with a lot of random ball screens and cutting off his dribble penetration."

• "Raymar Morgan can either be really good or just disappear, like he did against Kansas. If he's in the game, though, he'll be really active on the glass and can hurt you that way the most."

• "They can survive if Morgan does disappear, though -- because they do a good job of getting performances out of different guys on different nights, whether it's Lucas stepping up, or Travis Walton getting 18 like he did against Kansas, or Durrell Summers hitting a bunch of shots on the perimeter. Regardless of who's scoring, you want to make them a half-court jump-shooting team, because they can kill you in transition."

• "Goran Suton is most effective in in pick-and-pop situations. I think he'd rather face up to the basket and shoot it, then get inside and score with his back to the basket, and that's probably what [coach Tom] Izzo would rather have him doing, too. When Suton's knocking down outside jumpers, that just gives them another dimension on offense."

Jayhawks scouting points:

• "A big part of defending Cole Aldrich is trying to force him off of the lane. If you allow him to catch the ball with a foot in the paint, you're in trouble, because he's going to score. He's shooting 60 percent from the field and knows how to convert down there. Deny the post and try to push him out -- and when a shot goes up you have to keep him in check, because he does a great of job discarding blockers and getting his hands on the ball."

• "We felt like Sherron Collins was a one-man fastbreak who would catch an outlet pass and blow down the floor. You can't just guard him in transition with one man; you have to use the guy who's guarding the inbounder, and have him get back and help in the middle of the floor to slow Collins down."

• "Their other guards get open looks because of Collins' skills in transition. [Tyrel] Reed and [Brady] Morningstar shot high percentages from three because of Sherron's ability to penetrate and force defenses to help. But you have to decide whether you want to give them shots or keep Sherron from getting to the rim, and he's so good at that that I'd rather keep him out of the paint."'s pick: Kansas 68, Michigan State 67.
Collins is a little too bullish for Lucas and Walton to stop on D, and Aldrich will continue his run of monster tournament performances. He won't have a triple-double this time, but he will get the best of Suton.

Click here for the South Region


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